What is the coolest thing you can do using Linux that you can’t do with Windows or on a Mac?

Someone asked me this recently. I don’t have just one answer. I compiled a list of things I thought of and emailed it to my friend…then I thought I would post it here for future reference. Feel free to add to the list! There is also a forums thread on the same topic, that I remembered as I complied my thoughts, so I stole some of the ideas posted there.

1. Upgrade to the newest version legally and without paying money
2. Have the latest version of the operating system run faster than the previous version on the same hardware
3. Easily install and run different graphical interfaces if I don’t like the default setup
4. Install twenty programs with one command
5. Have the system automatically update all my installed programs for me.
6. Install the same copy of my OS (Ubuntu) on multiple computers without worrying about license restrictions or activation keys
7. Give away copies of the operating system and other programs that run on it without breaking any laws, governmental or ethical or moral, because it was all intended to be used this way
8. Have full control over my computer hardware and know that there are no secret back doors in my software, put there by malicious software companies or governments
9. Run without using a virus scanner, adware/spyware protection, and not reboot my computer for months, even when I do keep up with all of the latest security updates
10. Run my computer without needing to defragment my hard drive, ever
11. Try out software, decide I don’t like it, uninstall it, and know that it didn’t leave little bits of stuff in a registry that can build up and slow down my machine
12. Make a major mistake that requires a complete reinstallation and be able to do it in less than an hour, because I put all of my data on a separate partition from the operating system and program files
13. Boot into a desktop with flash and effects as cool as Windows Vista on a three year old computer…in less than 40 seconds, including the time it takes me to type my username and password to login
14. Customize anything I want, legally, including my favorite programs. I can even track down the software developers to ask them questions, contribute ideas, and get involved in the actual design/software writing process if I want to
15. Have 4+ word processor windows open working on papers, listen to music, play with flashy desktop effects, have contact with a largely happy community and have firefox, instant messaging, and email clients all open at the same time, without ever having had to beg someone for a code to make my os work, and without the system running so slow it is useless
16. Use the command “dpkg –get-selections > pkg.list” to make a full, detailed list of all software I have installed, backup my /etc and /home directories on a separate partition, and you are able to recover your system any time, easily
17. Run multiple desktops simultaneously, or even allow multiple users to log in and use the computer simultaneously
18. Resize a hard disk partition without having to delete it and without losing the data on it
19. Use the same hardware for more than 5 years before it really needs to be replaced…I have some hardware that is nearly 10 years old, running Linux, and still useful
20. Browse the web while the OS is being installed!
21. Use almost any hardware and have a driver for it included with the operating system…eliminating the need to scour the internet to find the hardware manufacturer’s website to locate one
22. Get the source code for almost anything, including the OS kernel and most of my applications

I could go on, but that’s long enough. 🙂

EDIT on 11 March 2010: This post is now quite old. My friend Popey has a newer post with more current thoughts at http://popey.com/blog/2010/03/11/why-ubuntu-is-better-than-windows/

190 thoughts on “What is the coolest thing you can do using Linux that you can’t do with Windows or on a Mac?

  1. Thanks again, everyone, for the continuing comments! I am especially honored by miguel’s Spanish translation. Wow.

  2. Dwindle, me podrias decir que version de windows usas porque la mia se cae 1 veces al dia miimo. gracias. lo otro seria que me dijereras si eres de este mundo capaz eres un alien con un windows de otro mundo.
    so no mas.

  3. Don’t agree with 2: Have the latest version of the operating system run faster than the previous version on the same hardware

    A mac runs faster every time I upgrade… There are some valid points though…

  4. to all trolls: well played sirs, you managed to irritate me every single time.

    yes, windows plays games.

    gnu-linux can do almost all the same things as windows, except play all games and run all proprietary software out of the box without glitches, but it is free as in speech and as in beer.

    just use your imagination for the possibilities.

  5. How about How South Korea uses Linux for Just about everything and is getting North Korea to do the same. I’d say that Linux is Helping to unit two different Ideas pf government and uniting a country. Way to go Linux!


  6. Ran Linux from 1998 – Red Hat, switched to OS X in Feb 2007.

    I don’t miss anything from my Linux days. In fact if you found 10 different apps to do something in Linux, there’s probably about 50 for OS X.

    I spend my time DOING things, instead of spending my time configuring my PC to do things.

  7. One thing I appreciate is there are no distinctions like Windows Pro, Home, and Server. I can use any installation like a home machine, network server, network desktop, or software development platform by changing the software packages.

  8. A lot of these comments are so mislead it isn’t funny. People who get viruses aren’t getting them because they are computer illiterate. Literally seconds after plugging into the internet, you have the potential to be "hacked" in some way shape or form. You don’t have to run a program or open any files, visit any websites or do anything other than just connect to the internet to be attacked. Yes computer literacy isn’t what it should be, and does make up a lot of why people get viruses, but not all of it.

    Another thing people need to remember is that Microsoft charges an arm and a leg for their software. Linux developers and distributors charge nothing. How can you truly compare the product of a huge company such as Microsoft to the product of people who are working essentially for free? Do you think that all of the resources that are available to Microsoft are available to all Linux developers? Absolutely not. To think that Linux is an operating system that is as stable as it is, and as mature as it is has come to be an operating system that is starting to make a stand for itself not only among technologically savvy users, but the general public as well (with numbers growing by the minute), is quite amazing. People underestimate the power of a linux system, which anyone with the knowhow can make do literally anything they want because of the nature of the system. Can you make windows do literally anything you want? No. Why? Because you don’t have the source code to be able to do anything with. Linux? Absolutely, because you can get the source code easily and for most all the software, freely, and be able to work it to your likings.

    In my opinion, Linux i s on the rise, and is going top continue to rise. It is an operating system that is quite literally made by the people, for the people. And who better to know what the people want in an operating system than the people themselves? Not Microsoft, thats for sure.

    P.S. All you Microsoft fanboys: Have you seen the people’s reaction to vista? Not looking very good for MS now is it?

  9. very nice article!after reading this, i am also thinking of using linux…
    i think fedora will be cool? what you suggest?

    keep it up dude. very cool.

    be open, live open,use open.


  10. I use both Windows and Linux on the same computer. Sometimes I work at home, and my job requires some Windows-exclusive software. I like games, and Linux isn’t as good as that.

    For everything else, I use linux. It boots my computer in 35 secs, looks better, has a better interface and runs way more stable.

    Also, for people with less computer savvy I’d recommend OpenSuse or Linux Mint over Windows. It installs easily, auto-detects everything, runs fast, smooth, is easy for basic use and powerful enough for high-end stuff.

    Unless they like gaming, then I’d just go for dual-boot.

  11. As my opinion is just that! We all learn to think for ourselves, have different ideas of or perceive these thinkings, i just stumbled here and am going to put in my 2 cents! Linux is what we all hope the world should be, but sadly it is a M$ world cause we put $$$ ahead of everything. Try going a whole day with out spending a dime!! I use windows xp pro cause it came with Utorrent and it was free and it updates so hahahaha bill g. ok bored u enough good post was good to see nothing on tv so ty for the time killer

  12. I love Linux!
    Now that I’ve said that…
    I also love to play games. I installed Linux on my old computer using Wubi dual booting with Windows XP which is great… But I hate switching between the 2…

    So I had to go back to using just windows when I got my new pc.
    If there is a way to run games such as hellgate london or BF2 on linux please tell me… (running 64-bit computer) … or linux is useless to me.


  13. Manfred’s comment was useless. He says this article was "lame", but offers no actual reasons for it. Ignore him.

    I found this article quite interesting and useful. Sometimes I forget how cramped a Windows system is with all the restrictions, shortcomings, and legal hassles.

    One comment, though. #8 isn’t really true. In a paper written in 1984, Ken Thompson discussed a truly evil hack he created wherein he corrupted the compiler in such a way that 1) it automatically created a back door; and 2) it did this even when given source code for the compiler itself (in other words, the source code for the compiler wouldn’t show the back door). Here’s the link:


    Very few of us actually bother to look at our source code, and most of us wouldn’t recognize a hack if we did look. Our security is more illusory than real.

    As Thompson pointed out, if the compiler has been corrupted, then it can produce arbitrary binaries not related to the source code.

    Having said all that, no system is immune to this. With Windows, it could happen, but you don’t even have the source code to examine. So I still greatly favor Linux over Windows.

  14. Chiron, that article was fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing it! My world and my understanding have expanded.

  15. @Pat… you mentioned something along the lines of "who wants to use command line when you have icons?"…Guess what…my name is also Pat, I think your a dipstick, and I absolutely love command line. I’ve been running Gentoo on all of my boxes aside from the main game machine (curse you manufacturers for not making them compatible with Linux) for the last 2 years and I really don’t see myself ever using Windows as an operating system for my services machine.

    Here’s a few things I’ll throw into the mix:
    1) Remote resources are insanely easy to configure in Linux. I have a mass storage file server with OpenVPN, SSH, Tinyproxy, and Samba installed. This little sucker uses only 1.2GB for its OS (Including the near 400MB source folder for the kernel)! I’d absolutely LOVE to see any Windozer setup ever see this kind of operational size with the kind of functionality my system has.
    2) Drivers – Some of the people that have commented have said that you will never find the ease of installation or compatibility of drivers in Linux as you do in Windoze. Well…last I checked I needed to go to ASUS for my chipset and network drivers, NVIDIA to get my video card drivers, and CREATIVE to get my audio drivers. Also, last I checked, my kernel supported my chipset, network, sound card, and all other devices sans video card. And for that what did I have to do? Go to NVIDIA? No, I just typed emerge nvidia-drivers and it downloaded, installed, re-configured Xorg all for me. Kthxbai. There are thousands upon thousands of devices supported in the kernel that I will never use simply because the amount of hardware it supports is so f*****g vast.
    3) Program updates – I don’t give a crap who you are, program updates in the ‘dozer will NEVER be as sleek and streamlined as it is in Linux. In the ‘dozer I have to either go to each products home page, or open the program up and go to some sort of update menu in order to get my programs updated. In Linux all I need to do is emerge -uD world and I can just go to sleep, go to the movies, do homework WHILE updating, or whatever I please. It’s just that dang simple. Yeah the *buntu’ers have their apt-get and Arch’ers have pacman, but all in all it comes down to the fact that nearly every distribution has some form of an automated package handling/updating system. Oh yeah, did I mention that the program being updated can be in use and running WHILE it’s being updated? Last time I checked in Windows the program had to be shutdown (and any work saved) before you updated it. In Linux you can be using any app, including the GUI (Xorg), Firefox, or the kernel itself while it is being updated. The only (and yes it is the only one) package of the Linux OS that 100% requires a reboot is a kernel upgrade. Aside from the kernel upgrade there is NO reason to reboot. Most updates/changes work flawlessly without any user intervention and the remaining few only require the user to logout and log back in. No reboot is absolutely required sans the kernel.
    4) The superiority complex – "Windoze is bettar than Leenux!"
    Do you own a router to share your internet connection? Chances are it’s running Linux or a modified version of a *NIX/POSIX class operating system. What about all these blogs and sites such as the one we are posting on right now? Chances are that it’s using an open source DBMS such as MySQL! Chances are also just as likely that it’s being ran on Linux. Oh wait, this just in, it’s using Linux + Apache 1.3.37.


  16. Hey, I love linux but some lines are wrong:
    "10. Run my computer without needing to defragment my hard drive, ever"…. you never have to defrag a Mac either.
    "13. Boot into a desktop with flash and effects as cool as Windows Vista on a three year old computer…in less than 40 seconds, including the time it takes me to type my username and password to login" … Mac has had the ‘eye candy’ longer than Linux or Windows.
    "18. Resize a hard disk partition without having to delete it and without losing the data on it" … I have done this in MacOS and in Windows.
    "21. Use almost any hardware and have a driver for it included with the operating system…eliminating the need to scour the internet to find the hardware manufacturer’s website to locate one"… right now I am looking for the ability to load the OS onto a FastTrak 100 Raid… I am having to jump through hoops to do it.

  17. I’m an operating system agnostic – whatever most suits your purposes is what you should use. I don’t have call to use Mac, but use multiple *NIX varients and Windows varients. You should provide some data to back up your points, because most of them are quite poor. You’re seriously confusing OPEN SOURCE with Linux – Linux is the basic Kernel with a ****load of opensource programs installed. You can use exclusively open source programs on Windows. You can also accomplish most things that you imply that you can’t with a little bit of in depth knowledge of the OS….

    I’m normally open to articles like this, but you’re just babbling nonsense.

    I think you have some valid points. Linux is free, Windows isn’t. Good point. That’s it.

    Points 1, 6, 7 are all anti-paying-for-your OS. Yes, Linux is free. Get over it.

    3 – There are several free programs for windows that allow you to customize the shell, even replacing exporer.exe. WindowsBlinds is one, I’ve used several others.

    4 – Try a batch file, or suite of programs that have an update manager.

    5 – Microsoft programs will auto-update.

    8 – You’re just dead wrong here. There have been an very large number of security exploits in programs designed for Linux, and there are an extremely large number of rootkits available. Since I understand your point to be "some software that runs on Windows has backdoors", I fail to see how you’ve differentiated Windows/Linux. ??

    9 – Linux wins against M$ for adware/spyware, yes. The title of your article is "can’t do with Windows or on a Mac". Macs have as little virus problems of Linux. I don’t see how Linux wins here.

    11 – Any amateurish program can install configuration files or libraries in odd places that won’t be removed when you remove the directory.

    12 – This works for Windows if you do the same thing. You need to back up the relevant parts of the registry. Just because you haven’t learned to do so doesn’t mean that you can’t do it.

    13 – Again, replacements for explorer.exe will give you flashy effects on older hardware.

    14 – You’re speaking strictly of open source software. If you use only open source on a Windows platform, you’ll have the same benefits. Just because MOST windows users don’t use open source software doesn’t mean that you can’t. If you use proprietary software on Linux (yes, it DOES exist!) you won’t be able to do anything you listed here.

    15 – I’ve got two different IDEs open, IE, firefox, msn, trillian, outlook, clipx, foobar2000, and a few propreitary apps running. My IDEs do alot more processing than your word processors. And I’m on Windows. I just tried opening a video – no dropped frames, it works great despite all the other apps. So where do you come up with the idea that linux is special in this respect?

    16 – Add/remove programs gives you a list of programs.

    17 – I have an extension running that gives me 4 virtual desktops, and I’ve removed the limit on concurrent sessions so I can have two users RDP’ed in at the same time…

    18 – Again, third party programs. PartitionMagic. Etc.

    19 – If you do not upgrade between major windows releases, you can continue getting service pack updates for an existing release and never have to replace your hardware.

    20 – You got this one. 🙂 I dont’ see it being a huge benefit, unless you’re reinstalling your OS all the time.

    21 – WTF? How do you figure? Linux driver support is much less complete that Windows driver support.

    22 – Again, you’re talking open source. Use open source programs in windows and you have the same benefit.

  18. This sounds a lot like an UbuntuForums topic. I have read that thread. That particular thread predates your blog post. Are you sure you wrote all these yourself?

  19. Hey, Clifford. This is from the first paragraph on this page: "There is also a forums thread on the same topic, that I remembered as I complied my thoughts, so I stole some of the ideas posted there."

    So, no. I obviously didn’t write all these, just as I said at the beginning.

  20. I completely agree with Dwindle and Joe Bonzo. I’ve been using Windows since 1992, and have never had any problems with it. Windows does a large number of the things listed, which the author of the list would know if he weren’t completely ignorant of Windows. The above list does boil down to Linux being free. And what’s this with "a powerful command line"? I mean, come on, it’s not 1985 anymore. It’s another one of those disconnects between linux boosters and average computer users.

  21. I tried Ubuntu, Kubuntu, PCLinuxOS and I had problems with all, Ubuntu slow torrents (compared to Windows XP, forwarding ports, etc.), PCLinux cool 3D effects but unable to make it work with my 7 button mouse, Kubuntu unable to manage my ATI card as fast as Windows and a problem to configure it too.

    After testing the Linux World for a week, I didn’t like it, lot of hours to make things work as I want them.

    The only 1 thing that I found is that it is free, because even the so automatic updates had problems with Kubuntu and PCLinuxOS.

  22. Great list ! But beleive it or not, all these great things are not worth one single one I can do on Windows: plug in the printer, press "print" and actually have the page come out of the printer!!! That is, without reading an unreadable documentation, becoming an expert of computer-printer communication techs, and even without hacking the kernel!
    Replace printer with all sorts of devices/basic tasks that shouldn’t require your brain to burn than few calories (such as accessing your disks!!! They are yours after all!!), and repeat.

  23. Sorry your experience was like that. For me, all I did was open the System->Printing->Administration menu, clicked “add printer” and the one I had connected showed up in the list. The driver was there, and off I went. This was true for several printers.

  24. I am a new Linux user, Ubuntu, but have been using Windows for many years. Some of the arguments here are nonsensical. I use Windows XP Home on one computer, XP Pro, cracked copy but I do hold a license, on another computer and Ubuntu 7.10 on the third. My cracked copy of XP Pro has no updates and is at the SP1 stage but I have never had a problem on it. So much for Windows updates. I normally have two computers on at a time and my main computer running XP Home is never turned off and only restarted when I need to install or uninstall software or the Windows updates. I use AVG Free anti virus, Zonealarm (Free) firewall, Spybot and Spyware blaster which are also free so that rules out the "expensive" software quote. I do get spyware and adware but these never create a problem and are sorted by the software. I have never had any virus infection in the last seven years. I use the Windows machines most as they do more of what I want and have the software on there to do it. Downloading programs and installing them is a doddle but if I change hardware then drivers can become an issue but I have never suffered that problem. Quick search on Google and there they are. No problem installing them either.
    My Ubuntu machine runs quite nicely and I do like it. I did find it necessary to give it 512mb of ram as it was freezing regularly on 256mb which was a surprise. This is the second time I have used Linux as I tried Suse about five years ago and it was atrocious. Didn’t like the soundcard, a soundblaster live card, didn’t like the graphics card, Nvidia TNT2, and there was no way it was going to work on the internet. Took it back and got my £65 back and bought a copy of XP Home for £55. So much for cheap operating systems.
    On this occasion I can say that I do like Ubuntu, it seems to have all the drivers, starts and stops real quick and was almost fully usable straight from the word go. I did have problems that it wouldn’t update, download, install or anything like that but a quick trip to the Ubuntu forum sorted that out. Just a couple of ticks in the correct boxes sorted it. So I would say the backup from users is fantastic and far better than I ever got with a windows forum. I will definately keep it. I find that if you want to use it as it comes then it is very useable. Mind you I never could get Evolution to work and a look in the forums says the same for lots of people so I think that should be junked and for Thunderbird to take its place which is far easier to use although I will look at other programs as it is not quite how I like it. Trying to download a program to desktop and installing it like windows is gagging for trouble as well. I think what puts most people off of Linux is all the command prompts, none appear to be logical, that are required quite regularly and also the naming of programs and the operating system lingo. Now Windows generally uses understandable language for installations etc and a lot of the programs are self explanetary as well. Linux seems to use the most confusing language, like the screen that says "reload" the program when the only button on show clearly states "Refresh". It appears to me that Linux is desperate to distance itself from Windows and uses a different language for everything. The names of the programs is also not very obvious what the hell they are either which just adds to the confusion. These are not complaints but observations based on the reasons why I have not touched Linux for a long time. I still don’t think it is as easy to use for a complete beginner as is XP (forget Vista, now there’s a pile of crap for you) but it is getting very close.
    There is definately room for both in my house and I would not get rid of either as they both have good and bad points but offer a change as well. I don’t include mac’s in this as I hate Apple more than I hate Microsoft. Never heard of a company that is so restrictive in the use of its products before. Then there is the mac users who seem to have this superiority complex that is lost on the rest of us. If macs were that good then they would outsell windows but they don’t get anywhere near it. The only person I know who bought a mac asked me to put windows on it after a week of use.

  25. there are some nice videos in youtube comparing what linux and vista can do…it clearly tells, vista is no match for linux, its amazing how you get these for free…there is no comparison between the two….and for the normal desktop users, our community will be giving out more user-friendly softwars/apps…for FREEE…

  26. Hey! Sorry, I read the first third of this, and kept seeing the same statements over and over again, so if the point I’m about to make has already been made…..well…..sorry.

    The one I want to comment on is the lack of games for Linux. It has nothing to do with marketing or even market share. It has to do with the sheer quantity of Linux builds that are available. That is the one strength that Windows has. It is ALWAYS the same distro! That means you can code your game once, release it, and you’re done! The customizable and constantly evolving nature of Linux precludes the commercial porting from the gaming gods.

    It’s a double edged sword. On the one hand, it would be nice to add gaming to the (very) impressive list of capabilities that most Linux distros boast, but on the other, that very event will not occur until Linux becomes standardized and mainstream.

    Personally, I have a Sony for gaming. Kicks the living **** out of any (affordable) gaming comp that I’ve ever seen.

  27. I have not entered the passion that many Linux users have exemplified in the previous posts. My conversion began a little over a year ago with using open source software, a little here, soon growing to most of my apps.
    The last straw for me was the introduction of Vista. I could not see paying that amount of money for a questionable operating system. I decided to try Linux for one month. It was touch and go for awhile; there were many issues. Most issues were my frustration entering a new learning curve. I had to relearn to tie my shoelaces.
    I suffered a large productivity hit. The point is I stuck with it and am now comfortable enough to do my day to day affairs on Linux. I still need to learn the command line in depth and plunder into the file system.

    I still need windows for some of my occupational endeavors. In addition games are easier in windows, at this point. So a Linux newbie I am due to economics. Linux isn’t for everyone, yet. That is MS’s strength; that my mother can use it.

  28. Linux is not merely an OS. Its much much more. Its a way of life, a religion, a community, a tribe, a group which is liberal in its full meaning.
    Microsoft is "business" in its full meaning, you pay money to use their stuff and yet dont enjoy complete freedom of sharing it. Any windows user can be legally confronted any day even if he thinks he has purchased everything under his hard drive. Because there are so many rules and regulations, copyrights and all. Thank god that linux and open source exist which doesnt let these MS people create a monopoly and harass the common people everyday. They are scared to do it.

    Linux takes its developers, programmers, designers and users in same flight and in same class. So they can talk to each other, share their views, discuss life ahead for the betterment of the full community. Everyone is involved.
    I am sure if MS had allowed its users to have a say in the program development, they would have a bigger forum than any linux distro forum or all linux forums combined.
    But sadly, MS is not interested in what the users really want. Buy what they give, learn it and live with it with your mouths sealed….

    The points in this article here are pretty much clearly from a Linux fanboy, but its alright.
    You wont ever see an article appreciating MS on a site without ads or someone backing the servers on his behalf.

    An aritcle appreciating Microsoft from a Microsoft fan boy – $100 Pleaseeeeee….
    An article appreciating Linux from a Linux fan boy – priceless.

  29. You’re right 😀 I really like working with linux, can’t live without it and you have really summed it up nicely 🙂

    Linux for the win, except i really enjoy DirectX 10.0 😉

  30. Sorry mate. That’s a little out of date. Mac can do almost all of those things now and Windows is catching up.

    Also. Remember that anyone who uses Linux has to become so familiar with it and with the archaic console that they have no life whatsoever and spend their whole life in typing in commands. With Mac or Windows, you click things and they work. And you don’t have to speak techno jargon to be able to use advanced programs.

    I am a complete computer geek and I could use Linux if I wanted to. But I don’t due to compatibility with other programs and due to the fact that using Mac and Windows just makes everything easier. It’s not that I can’t do things on Linux, it is just that it takes more effort and I am a very lazy person.

  31. Pingback: Matthew Helmke (dot) Net » The real reason I use Linux

  32. the only reason u r using linux is that ..
    it is ur religion …and u belive in it..

    but to me computer is a tool ….and i want productivity from my machine than just spending my life time to devote to the study of the OS.


  33. LOL. Using Linux is hardly a religion, but it is a very strong preference. Use whatever you like. I will be just as productive using my choice. With nothing but Linux and native applications I make and administer websites, have written and typeset a book and contributed to another, and am writing yet another. I pass documents back and forth with Windows and Mac users with no problems, and a ton of other things.

    Anyway, thanks for the visit and the comment.

  34. OS X can do #2, #5, #9 (except some security updates), #10, #11, #12 (even Windows can do that!), #15, #17, #18, almost #19. At least.

    Oh, and I love Linux and use it on all computers except my laptop (Macbook Pro). My point: most of these may apply to windows, but you stated “What is the coolest thing you can do using Linux that you can’t do with Windows *or on a Mac*?”. 🙂

  35. I find this pathetic, for this thread to grow this long. Im new to Ubuntu and have fallen in love with it. But Im a C# developer and still needs to boot up WinXP. So for me, its just a matter of preference. Its no different from asking which brand of perfume you are using. Probably the author feels this way thats why he wrote this article. We must admit Windows, like mainframe, will stay here for a long time, while Linux continues to be what i call, “The Superior Underdog”.

  36. I’m just amazed that something I posted three months ago, that I wrote on a whim and without a lot of thought or planning, is still getting comments.

    If I knew it would be read for so long by so many people, I would have written something better. 🙂

  37. number one reason for linux.

    Its not controlled by Microsoft.
    The play dirty
    1) IMHO they purposely changed code in the partitions to make it difficult to install other operating systems with it.
    2) Companies HAVE to pay Microsoft to get their hardware to run on it, driving up the cost of hardware.
    3) Because Microsoft know what is good for me, I am not allowed to use my old hardware on my new computers. Come on guys.. . . We are in a recession and you do this.
    4) When I get the machine, I don’t even get the install disk any more, I have to pay extra for it
    5) most new games will run if installed into linux with wine
    6) openoffice.org Microsoft does not get my 4200 for office applications
    7) Multiple desktops WITHOUT having to upgrade to Vista, or paying money
    8) Compiz
    9) If I want it to look like Vista, I can. If I dont, I dont have to. I do not have to do it Microsofts way.
    10) I do not have to work on a desktop designed for people who need to be taught how to doubleclick. I understand not everyone is a geek. And this is a good thing. I just want a choice here. If this was about politics, microsoft woulda been voted out. The want to tell us how to do our work and make it difficult. grrrrr
    11) its just cool

    nuff said
    7) Come on guys, its cool

  38. Windows is where it is because it was here first.
    Linux was second.
    Windows is way easier to use for a normal human. Linux is NOT user friendly (I tried the new Ubuntu distributions). It’s even hard to customize your desktop to something you found on the net. I am not a noob to PC’s and I consider to know more than a normal human.
    Windows costs money.
    Well, so do clothes (the old, burnt ones from the dumpster don’t), cars (you can find some free cars in some junk yards) and anything else that we need! That’s the way things are, need something? PAY UP!
    Linux is free (and for the humans that have too much time on their hands). Of course there are some aspects at which linux is better than windows, but if they weren’t, linux would be dead allready.
    Windows will be THE OS for years to come. How many? It only depends on MS.
    Also… WTF is wrong with OpenOffice? Why can’t they make it ok? Is it that hard? MS did it! Why can’t they?
    And games..
    See how Blizzard made a game (WOW) that brings them huge amounts of cheese. It’s a game and it runs on windows. Almost everyone who plays this game knows how to install it on windows. On linux on the other hand, only 5% maybe… rough estimate.
    Linux cannot be the choice for a home PC. Unless you cannot afford windows that is…
    All these things you said that cannot be done on windows, CAN BE DONE! So your post is just useless.
    You would be better of playing some WOW on windows.

  39. Wow. There’s a lot of grumpiness there, normality.

    Use what you like. That’s totally cool. Your comments on Linux are either misinformed or you have an agenda. I know several dozen non-technology-proficient people who use Linux on their home PC as the only OS. They can do everything they want and need to do. It is definitely ready.

  40. For sure, Windows and Linux are for different users. That’s what I like. When I talk with a Linux guy, I know he won’t fall in the stupid traps put by MS on his way to comprehension…
    Like mixing extension and filetype, renaming printer output to .prn instead of .ps, or not displaying extensions. MS does more than “making choices” for the users. They pour their head with misconceptions.
    So that’s what I dislike with Windows. When I have got a friend, Windows user, on phone asking for help, I am pretty sure he will be saying some stupidity like “Do you think my PC will go faster if I uninstall The GIMP ?” or “What do you advise for an antivirus ?”. And more than that, almost any Windows user will distrust you if you say you don’t use an antivirus.
    What I like most is the users. And I can tell you I know a lot of home Ubuntu users, who are not geeks at all. They are perfectly happy with Linux. But they get smarter with time, when Windows users go dumber with time.

    This is all about a contract between the developer and the user. Linux users respect the contract, because it’s free and it’s in their interest. Windows users don’t respect the contract, because it’s expensive and it’s not in their interest, it’s in MS interest. For this reason, the contract is broken and Windows goes deeper into shit every version, users and developers included.

  41. I thought I’d post, just to add to the many that have before. I love to play with linux and hope that one day I can fully convert. However, I am unable to play the games that I like on linux (not cutting edge, but still) and really hate to dual boot. I stumbled here and am glad I did. Good post and great comments. 🙂

  42. Well, I think I’d have to agree to what I’ve read somewhere about being logged in as an Administrator in a Windows machine makes you more vulnerable to a lot of unwanted stuff, including that of your own doing. I’ve used quite a good number of distributions and versions of Linux and my personal favorite is Ubuntu, where, as a user, I don’t have to worry about viruses and malware reaching in to my machine to try to wreak havoc because they won’t have premissions or privileges to access my files freely to make significant changes. Only a Root account has that power to make all possible alterations to my system. Unlike on a Windows box, if your account is Administrator, well… anything that comes in is granted instant permission to make changes as they want. On my Linux, tho, I would have to explicitly give them permission (as “sudo”, and enter my password) for any system-specific changes to occur, also thereby reminding me that I am about to make those kinds of changes.
    Not all Linux operating systems are like this, though. I carry with me in my USB drive (and in all of my phone’s MicroSDs) a FULL OPERATING SYSTEM that’s less than 128MB in size, it’s called Puppy Linux, and I love it for the simplicity of it, the speed, all the included office apps, works great with almost all the numerous PCs I’ve ever used it on (including Pentium2s!), drivers come pre-installed. The reason why I mentioned the Puppy distribution is that, you are logged in as Root (equivalent to Administrator in Windows) all the time. Which *could* be a security issue. But heck, I never had problems with it anyway. No malware, no viruses so far. Comes with a firewall pre-installed too. Besides, If anything should ever go wrong… It’s so quick and easy to reinstall my 128MB-Operating-System-on-a-stick. Both Linux and Windows (and of course, Macs) will get better with time… but your Mac and your Windows systems will ask you for cash for the same things you can do with Linux. Not that I have anything against those systems, because I use all 3 of them. It just boils down to what you plan to use them for. I have A LOT of reasons why I bring an OS on my USBs, and it’s not about playing games.
    This isn’t about what’s right or wrong. It’s about what works for you. What do you think?

  43. Most windows users are not very technical. They think it’s good because they don’t know any better. Why does it need external firewalls, registry cleaners, disk defraging tools, virus tools etc. The windows registry can become so corrupted that the whole os needs to be re-installed.
    I have seen it happen quite few times. Why does it have to be re-booted when software updates or virus updates are done? Or even when the ip number have been changed. Sometimes when windows software has been uninstalled things are still left there!!
    It needs silly file extensions to work. Everything in windows had been copied from some other operating systems. Where did the stupid A: B: C: come from?
    well it come from CP/M which was copied from DEC.
    I have heard experienced windows users say once a year they re-format the disk and re-install everything
    It can’t be much good if you have to do that.
    Many windows XP systems get slower and slower because of spyware. Which can be sometimes be fixed with yet another tool “adaware, spybot”
    more rubbish.

  44. I am sooooo impressed that the rants have survived up until now. I placed a link on my desktop and check out the site every now and again and am pleased to see that all the regular trolls are still turning around.

    Yours sincerely,
    An XP troll.

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